Thousands have joined a campaign to allow a cat to return to a hospice after being banned from the premises.
After more than six years of bringing comfort to people at St Catherine’s Hospice little Spike has been barred from entering the building as officials say he is causing ‘severe allergic reactions’.
A petition, entitled Save Spike the hospice cat, has been launched calling on Spike to be allowed to return to the Crawley hospice and continue supporting families and their loved-ones.
As of this afternoon (Friday April 16) it had gained more than 2,300 signatures and scores of comments.
One supporter said: “The world has gone mad. Not allowing Spike to stay is ridiculous. I’m sure all guests love to have her around and this is her home.”
Another said: “She’s been doing a good job in bringing comfort at a difficult time. Why change it now?”
St Catherine’s said it recognised she was a much-love mascot but it need to put its patients and staff first.
A spokesman said: “While many of us have a soft spot for our feline friends, not everyone loves cats. Recently, some of our patients have been distressed by Spike and two of our care team have had severe allergic reactions, meaning that at times they have been unable to work.
“We know that when someone is unwell, interacting with animals can be really beneficial. Pets as Therapy animals and individual pets will still be able to visit the hospice as we’re able to control where they go. We’d love to be able to continue to welcome Spike into the hospice, but as many of you know, she is a free spirit who wanders wherever she chooses.
“We’ve been touched to see how many people care so much for Spike. We hope you will bear with us while we help Spike through this change in her routine and continue to support St Catherine’s while we help local people going through the very worst of times.”